Plastics are the most common material of marine litter and have become a global pollution concern. They are persistent in the environment where they gradually degrade into increasingly smaller particles–microplastics (MP). Our study presents results of sea-surface monitoring for MP in the Slovenian part of the Trieste Bay in the Northern Adriatic Sea. In 17 trawls conducted over a 20-month period we found a high average concentration of 406 × 103 MP particles/km2. Over 80% of the particles were identified as polyethylene. The significant variability of MP concentrations obtained on different sampling dates is explained by use of surface current maps and a recently developed Markov chain marine litter distribution model for the Adriatic Sea.
Tamara Gajšt, Tine Bizjak, Andreja Palatinus, Svitlana Liubartseva, Andrej Kržan, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 113, Issues 1–2, 15 December 2016, Pages 392–399